When a politician’s public positions conflict with his private behavior, we call it hypocrisy. For all its interesting points (and its ripeness for bad puns), the Anthony Weiner story has not been a significant policy story, until now…because Representative Weiner (D-NY) is a hypocrite.
So, yeah, we’re loathe to talk about pure politics much here. Too many people focus on personalities, who’s up/who’s down, and election horse races, and they ignore that Congress is passing bills that do important things, like spending your tax money.
But enough of a policy angle on the Anthony Weiner scandal has emerged. The sleuthing of “Internet lawyer” Mike Young has turned it up.
You see, in 2008, Representative Weiner co-sponsored a bill called the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act (or “KIDS” Act). (The Senate version passed, becoming Public Law 110-400)
According to Young, Weiner had this to say about the bill.
Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.
A click away, huh? You don’t say.
Now, many facts about the Weiner story are unknown, and it is not at all clear that he “victimized” any children in a serious way. But he appears to have been privately exploring Internet sexuality with women far younger than himself while publicly deploring “predation” that is just a little further along the same line of behavior. The hypocrite factor makes this a story worth discussing. We don’t necessarily think politicians are an honorable bunch in general, but the hypocrisy on substantive policy makes Rep. Anthony Weiner a pig not just in his personal life but in his policy positioning.
Now, we’ve gone looking for more hypocrisy in the bills he’s introduced in the current Congress. And we have not found any!
But below are a list of the bills he has sponsored. You should assess what you think of them and vote or comment on them, because it’s important not to get too distracted from substantive policy by the push and pull of politics and scandal.
H.R. 438 – The Energy Star Improvements Act of 2011
H.R. 792 – Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act of 2011
H.R. 1027 – Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M., Congressional Gold Medal Act
H.R. 1028 – Equal Access to COBRA Act of 2011
H.R. 1118 – Social Security Protection Act of 2011
H.R. 1119 – National Nurse Act of 2011
H.R. 1468 – Honest Services Restoration Act
H.R. 1662 – Bank Accessibility Act
H.R. 1680 – Transportation Flexible Savings Accounts Act of 2011
H.R. 1839 – Community Pharmacy Fairness Act of 2011
H.R. 1896 – COPS Improvements Act of 2011
H. Con. Res. 12 – Expressing the sense of Congress that an appropriate site on Chaplains Hill in Arlington National Cemetery should be provided for a memorial marker to honor the memory of the Jewish chaplains who died while on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.